Angiogenic potential of PLLA/bioactive glass composites for bone regeneration


Investigator: Ilenia Vitrano (Visiting PhD student, University of Palermo, Italy)

Ilenia Vitrano


Supervisors (Palermo): Prof. Valerio Brucato

Supervisors (Erlangen): Prof. Aldo R. Boccaccini

The present research project is part of the broad field of Tissue Engineering and in particular of bone tissue regeneration. In bone regenerati, angiogenesis plays a central role by providing the functional connection between the grafting material and surrounding host tissues [1]. Nowadays the development of efficient vascularized networks in engineered tissues and organs is an important research focus because the tissue-healing processes strongly depends on angiogenesis. For this reason interest in the use of bioactive glasses has strongly increased for their angiogenic potential [2]. This project focuses on the improvement of the knowledge in the production and use of composite membranes made by a poly-lactic-acid (PLLA) matrix and a bioactive glass filler to be used as biodegradable bone substitutes capable of supporting and guiding tissue regeneration. Scaffolds will be produced by Diffusion Induced Phase Separation (DIPS) a cutting-edge technique used to produce porous membranes. Different kind of bioactive glasses like 45S5, 13-93, 13-93-B will be used as filler. The analysis of bioactivity, biodegradability and permeability of the new membranes is of particular interest for the intended applications in bone regeneration. Furthermore a study of the angiogenic potential of the bioactive glass in those composites in vitro is planned by maintaining them in a culture containing bone marrow stromal cells (ST-2) following the protocol established at the Institute of Biomaterials in Erlangen [3]. Cell morphology, cell viability and the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) will be investigated. The research is carried out in the framework of an international research collaboration between Università degli studi di Palermo, Italy, and the FAU Institute of Biomaterials.

[1] Saghiri MA, Asatourian A, Garcia-Godoy F, Sheibani N. The role of angiogenesis in implant dentistry part II: The effect of bone-grafting and barrier membrane materials on angiogenesis. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 21 (2016) e526-37.

[2] Gorustovich AA, Roether JA, Boccaccini AR. Effect of bioactive glasses on angiogenesis: a review of in vitro and in vivo evidences. Tissue Eng Part B 16 (2010) 199-207.

[3] Balasubramanian P, et al. Angiogenic potential of boron-containing bioactive glasses: in vitro study. Journal of Materials Science 52 (2017) 8785-8792.